I love seeing potential in people. I love picturing how they could flourish as they internalize the Gospel more and more. Our recent trip to Puerto Rico for spring break was a perfect example of getting to see the potential rise, after months, even years of pouring into students. I wanted to share some of the life-change I’ve seen in some of the students that went, in hopes that you will praise God with Lori and I over their growth (1 Cor 3:6-7—I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.)
(Jonason, Kim, Matt, Katelyn, Me, Annie, Rich, and Star (left to right) in Puerto Rico.)
Rich has not been highly involved in Cru@NAU due to the fact that he’s never been a student here. He is actually a train conductor who is now married to Star, who has been highly involved. Rich has grown so much in the last 2 years, having set apart Christ as Lord and persevered through some difficult living situations. It was so fun to see Rich get to share the Gospel for the first time in his life with someone besides a friend. What has spectacular about it was that the person that Rich talked to made a decision to accept Christ! It was fun to see Rich having fun on his first missions trip in which evangelism was a primary focus.
Rich is married to Star (far right). Star has been involved in our ministry for the past 4 years, even having gone with us to the Dominican Republic on previous spring break trips. On those trips, however, she mainly was asking students about their spiritual backgrounds, not taking the opportunity to share Christ with them, giving them the opportunity to respond. This trip, Star really wanted to take steps of faith to share the Gospel with students and she did so faithfully, leaving the results to God…and loved it!
Annie is like one of our kids. She has wormed into our hearts and we love her deeply. When we first met Annie, she stood behind people in social settings, or would crawl under a blanket or our couch during socials. Her step of faith during this trip was to initiate conversations with people, which she did. She took steps of faith over and over again, talking to people about their spiritual journey, as well as trying fun new foods and experiences.
We’ve worked with Katelyn the last 4 years and Kim and Jonason the last 2 years. We’ve seen them grow in joy and service. For Jonason and Kim, this was one of the first times on a missions trip, and for Kim, a stretch of faith to speak to people in Spanish, and she did great!
Matt just showed up this semester, and he’s already one of my favorite people! It was so sweet to see him jump right into the social scene of the other students who have known each other for 2+ years. He’s a quality stud who is going to do great things for the Lord.
It’s fun to see a bit of return on the investment into students lives. It’s hard sometimes to see growth in the day by day in the midst of classes, work and the mundane parts of life, but occasionally God gives us a glimpse of what He’s doing in someone’s life to prepare them for a lifetime of life with Him and work for Him.
Thank you to you who have prayed for us, for these students, and who have given sacrificially for us to be able to minister the Gospel to His children in Flagstaff, San Diego, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and wherever else He calls us.